Ab Crunches & Back Pain

Why is it when you do ab exercises and then get up, you have pain in your lower back? Our bodies are sometimes too smart for our own good, meaning when we need to get from point A to point B our will body will get us there but not necessarily the right way. Muscles that aren’t meant to be doing the job are now kicking in.

Due to our forward dominant lifestyles, we tend to have an overactive anterior chain and a weak posterior chain. In this particular instance (Ab exercises) our hip flexors (psoas muscle) is too excited and eager to do the workload for us to compensate for our weak abs.

How do we stop our hip flexor from overworking?
When performing any movement their is one muscle that is activating and an opposite muscle that is relaxing. Eg. When performing a bicep curl, our tricep muscle needs to relax. To restrictively inhibit our hip flexor we need to activate our glutes and hamstrings during the ab crunch.

The easiest way to do this is:
1. Wrap a resistance band around your knees. The tension will cause your knees to collapse in, resist this movement by pushing your knees out.

2. Dig your heels into the ground.

3. When performing the crunch, deep breath in, and as you pull yourself up exhale

Incorporating the above actions into your ab crunch will decrease your range of movement within the ab crunch. The most important part of the crunch is the first 20-30deg.

You will find that the ab crunch will now be considerably harder, but at least you now have the confidence to know that you are performing the movement correctly.